Katie Vojtko is a champion for women and Pittsburgh, two of our favorite things.
When she is not busy working her day job, she devotes her time and attention to 85 Broads Pittsburgh and Social Media Group Pittsburgh. Her thirst for knowledge and learning is refreshing, as is her belief that collaboration and support are integral to success.
We're not sure how she does it, but one conversation with Katie and you will leave feeling smarter, more connected, and more interested in whatever topic you were discussing.
We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.
Introduce yourself as if you were speaking from the cockpit.
Hello, friends! This is Katie Vojtko, Pittsburgh proud and supporter of all things marketing, technology, and innovation. You'll find me at an 85 Broads Pittsburgh event, hosting a Social Media Group Pittsburgh seminar, or supporting any of the incredible projects/events related or in support of women, our region's business climate, or entrepreneurship.
When did you earn your wings?
I'm not (yet) a business owner. While the jury is still out on whether or not that's going to happen, I'm having a lot of fun strengthening those entrepreneurial skills in the meantime.
Over the past two years, I've increasingly taken on leadership roles, initiated projects and events, and supported community initiatives. I've found that being apart of the entrepreneurial community sparks infectious ideas and collaboration which helps with momentum in all other professional endeavors. Leading organizations like 85 Broads Pittsburgh and Social Media Group Pittsburgh are providing tons of practice and experience for that day when I take the big leap into entrepreneurship.
Most recently, I co-organized the Scrimmage in the Rustbelt, a fabulous day of supporting regional entrepreneurs and nonprofits with Google's approach to rapid prototyping. (If you don't know about rapid prototyping, check out this video.) Ever since the Scrimmage, I've found myself prototyping practically everything. Rather than taking the time to hash out an idea through debate, I've been drawing, tinkering, or typing up an idea - then receive user feedback. Big time (and sanity!) saver.
If you could name a nail polish color after yourself of your business, what would it be?
Either all natural or a soft, nude pink. I'm kind of a straight forward gal and prefer my approach (and nail color) to be 'no fuss.'
Not all flights are smooth. Tell us about how you handle turbulence in your business and life.
I tend to enlist a lot of advice. I've never been afraid of asking: "Hey, I respect you. What do you think about this?" Sometimes that gets me into trouble because there's SO much input and I can be a tad indecisive. However, I usually end up blending different pieces of feedback into my final conclusion.
Spending time outdoors—either in my urban garden, on the porch with a book, or a run through Frick Park—is a fabulous way to straighten out my stressed brain.
Who is the wind beneath your wings?
I have business (not celebrity) crushes. Their stories, blogs, and tweets really help me stay focused on the big picture. Right now, I'm really interested in stories from Sheryl Sandberg, Gary Vaynerchuk, Alexa Von Tobel, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Jack Dorsey, and Oprah.
The network of incredible business women in Pittsburgh have not only welcomed me into this amazing community, but also support, share, attend, and promote my initiatives, programs, and organizations. I'm so grateful to be a part of this network.
And finally, I have a tight circle of equally driven and passionate girlfriends. We get together over wine to chat goals. Their support has taken my young career to levels I didn't dream possible.
What's your advice to other women as they navigate the business world?
- Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Sounds intimidating, but being an Average Joe among complete rockstars pushes your normal to a completely new level.
- Be with people who aspire to do great things. Their energy and motivation will adjust your view to dream bigger.
- Read all you can. Blogs, books, white papers, and business mags (Entrepreneur, Fast Co) have opened my mind onto new ideas and approaches. Absorb lessons learned from other entrepreneurs willing to share their story.
- Support one another. Seek out opportunities to help a fellow woman who also has big dreams.